South Africa is one of the best countries in the world to overland through. There are many places that offer serenity, splendour and a diversity of sights to see. You’ll never get bored of the endless scenery, varied cultures, majestic animal life, and sweeping flora. Whether you’re driving through savannah, bushveld, forest areas, swamps, marshlands, floodplains or grasslands it’s unlikely you’ll run out of exciting experiences and panoramic landscapes.
It has all the essentials for adventurous travel. With reliable infrastructure and accommodating services, it’s the cornucopia of overlanding comfort.
You’ll find a number of game reserves, beautiful driving scenery, interesting people and mile after mile of pure beauty. Rich in ancient history, it’s also impossible to drive through it without bringing the past back with you. While there are certainly other overlanding destinations to add to your bucket list, perhaps one of the most exciting.
Every location in this country has something new and interesting to enjoy.
- Cape Town – This place was voted the World’s Best Destination 2011, and with good reason. It has a vibrant city life nestled between two stark mountains, and comes with historic wineries and glimmering oceans. In addition to its magnificence, there are an impressive number of things to do including angling, sailing, hiking, biking and surfing. If you’re into your extreme sports, there’s sandboarding, abseiling and kloofing (jumping off cliff faces into rivers below).
- Knysna – This area is a natural paradise of flourishing forest life, peaceful ponds, striking mountains, and offers a great opportunity for outdoor enthusiasts to have fun. It’s practically a Garden of Eden, with over 8000 different types of plant species, forest elephant, dolphins, whales, Knysna Loerie, seahorses and Pansy shells. You’ll also find uniquely crafted wooden furniture, as well as a delectable range of bars and restaurants for those who enjoy a beverage or two after a long day of travel.
- Kruger National Park – Don’t be alienated by the hype. This world-renowned park is popular for a reason. Nowhere else can you experience such an immense, wildlife experience with unparalleled diversity of life and cutting-edge environmental administrative techniques. You’ll also be able to see just about everything here, including 336 trees, 147 species of mammal, 507 types of bird, 49 fish, 34 amphibians and 114 reptiles. Trace amazing historical sites and bushman rock paintings on your journey.
- Oudtshoorn – Located in the Little Karoo, the town of Oudtshoorn has a huge ostrich farming industry, due to the popularity of ostrich egg art and a high demand for their feathers. Many of these farmers are extremely rich, and have built amazing mansions on their land called “feather palaces”, which have recently been open to visitors and quite exciting places to visit. Also, the Cango Caves are a must-see. They’re immense and cavernous, with many routes to crawl and walk through. Not all of it is open to the public but it’s still an adventure you won’t find anywhere else.
International overlanding bucket-list-worthy trips include:
- South Islander – New Zealand is the home of immense beauty and breathtaking sites. Plus, when overlanding, there are so many things you can experience here, that this diverse country provides the perfect backdrop to an exquisite holiday. Starting off at Christchurch Queenstown, your trip will take you to the west coasts and across a glacier. You’ll also have the opportunity of taking a rail journey through the peaks. By experiencing the magnificence of this diverse and culturally rich island, you can certainly create meaningful memories to take through life.
- From Argentina to Alaska – This trip is only for the seriously committed who are willing to set aside a large portion of their time, about a year, to make the adventure happen. Before you die, make your way through Ecuador and on to Alaska.
Whether you want to tour the mountains, rivers, vast tracks of land – or see exotic animals, you can do so at any of these incredible places.
Author: Jacqueline Freer